Friday, April 24, 2009

I always knew the "Seattle chill" was bull shit

Depending on how you want to view it, Eric at Sightline's piece about the "Northwest Personality" will either reaffirm your belief in the Seattle Chill or convince you still it doesn't exist.

From Eric:

Northwest states are among the most open and least neurotic places you can find, but we are also among the least extraverted. Not surprisingly, Oregon and Washington perform almost identically on every measure. More interesting, perhaps, is that Alaska, Idaho, and Montana are also very similar in some respects (though quite different in some others).

...

The good news is that the Northwest is not a neurotic place. Washington is the 46th least neurotic state in the union, followed by Alaska at 47th, and Oregon at 48th. (Idaho and Montana rank 32rd and 39th, respectively.) To get any less neurotic, you'd have to move to South Dakota (49th), Colorado (50th), or Utah (51st).

The other nice thing about the Northwest is our openness. Oregon is the 3rd most open state in the nation while Washington is 5th. (Only New York, Massachusetts, and DC are comparably open.) But move away from the urban Northwest and the openness appears to fall off: Montana is 16th; Idaho is 30th; and Alaska is 49th.


What do you call a region that is neither neurotic nor extroverted? Totally sane. Yeah, say you take a state that ranks both high in neuroticism and extroversion (like Pennsylvania) I guess you could say they weren't as chill(y) as us. I'd also say they were also totally unhinged.

What outsiders say is our tendency to be on the surface nice but total dicks in action, I say we're just not as freaking crazy as you are, so can you please get a grip of our sanity?

Also, another note that Eric makes is that as a region, the Northwest flows pretty well as a group through the personality traits, except for openness. As Oregon and Washington rank pretty high the more conservative northwest states are lower down (Montana 16th, Idaho 30th and Alaska 50th). Northwest conservative, in that regard, means you are less open.

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